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Rebecca's skills in public relations have made her a well-known entity in yachting and luxury market places. I would not hesitate to put the future of my business in her hands, as I know that she would push it to be as successful as she possibly could. I highly recommend Rebecca and Antibes Yachting.
Rhea Rouw, Company Owner, Yachting International Radio
Rebecca is a natural talent when it comes to writing, she helped me with my website and everything she wrote was spot on. One appointment to discuss quickly the general idea of what I wanted and a few days later, the website was ready with Rebecca's texts. I couldn't have asked for a better/faster/more efficient service. I was totally satisfied and I can only recommend Antibes Yachting !
Jocelyn Passeron, Owner, TheYachtPhotographer.com
Rebecca's knowledge of the French Riviera is second to none. Her posts offer a truly exciting style and insights of huge benefit to anyone visiting the south of France. I would not hesitate to recommend Rebecca to anyone looking for a true "guru" on the ground on the Cote d'Azur or to add great content to their blog/website. She researches any subject thoroughly and always surprises me with her fantastic writing.
Alexander Coles, Charter Broker, Bespoke Yacht Charter
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There has been much discussion about the anchorage regulations in southern France, particularly for yachts 24-metres+.
As well, since November 2020 non-Schengen flagged vessels were not permitted to anchor in French Mediterranean waters. Not a particularly bright outcome leading into a summer where most of the Mediterranean yachting season was affected by lockdown last year.
From Wednesday May 12, the Préfecture Maritime has now changed the rules concerning l’arrête PREMAR 238/2020 of 30 November 2020.
They issued decree n° 90/2021 which provides for the end of the ban on stopping or anchoring vessels flying the flag outside Schengen.
Note: Decree n°238/2020 still remains in force concerning the rules for the organisation of nautical events, those of crew relief, bunkering at sea and navigation of cruise ships and non-regular passenger ships.
The dispositions in article 4 of the decree n° 238/2020 have been deleted and replaced with following rule:
- All foreign flagged vessels are authorised to carry out their right of inoffensive passage to cross French territorial waters or leave to high seas, in a continuous and rapid manner.
The points to remember concerning the end of the ban on anchoring and stopping of vessels flying non-Schengen flags, vessels are authorised to reach :
- A home port situated on the French Mediterranean coastline.
- A shipyard subject to having a signed repair contract with the yard.
- While waiting to enter a port or yard, yachts are allowed to stop or anchor, along the French Mediterranean coastline, after informing the maritime authority (semaphore/lighthouse) or having obtained anchorage permission as per dispositions in decree n° 155/2016 of 24 June 2016. This is commonly done on VHF channel 16.
- Still waiting to enter a port or a shipyard, any vessel over 45-meters flying a foreign flag can also stop again or anchor, but in compliance with the decree n° 155/2016 which requires an authorisation from the maritime authority (this rule prior to navigation restrictions linked to the pandemic is known to superyachts who cruise in the Mediterranean).
How To Find The Arrêtes Prefectoral (decrees) On The Prémar Website
The Préfecture Maritime (Prémar) website is not user-friendly, and even more so if you don’t understand French. Here is how you find the official announcements on the website:
- Go to ‘Publications’.
- In the dropdown menu, go to ‘Recueil des actes administrative’.
- In the ‘Arrêtes Archives’ search box, type in the number of your decree in the ‘Recherche par numéro’ box. The format must be YYYY-MMM (year + month). For example, the latest announcement you would type in 2021-090.
To save you time, here’s the links below to the decrees affected by this week’s announcement:
Decree n° 90/2021 lifting the ban on the anchoring of yachts flying a flag outside Schengen: https://www.premar-mediterranee.gouv.fr/uploads/mediterranee/arretes/85394f00868433fd497401f3c53b303e.pdf
Decree n° 155/2016 which regulates (since 2016) the anchoring of vessels 45-metres+: https://www.premar-mediterranee.gouv.fr/uploads/mediterranee/arretes/7faf64e16548a431e40cfa183d8cb167.pdf
The Posidonia Debate
Additionally, superyachts are concerned about the impact on yacht charters that will be posed by the Posidonia regulations. Most yachting professionals I have spoken to appreciate the need for awareness of the Posidonia seagrass and understand the impact of anchorage. However, it’s deemed that the superyacht industry has been unfairly targeted.
French association SOS Navigation highlights that other factors contribute to Posidonia damage such as aquaculture, chemical contaminants, trawling and coastal development. It should be noted that zones of high anchorage such as the Lérins Islands have abundant Posidonia meadows.
Yachting professionals need to open awareness on questions which will impact them directly and immediately:
- Where can yacht owners and charterers anchor this year?
- If they can’t anchor, where will they go?
- How many yachts have a chain long enough to anchor outside of Posidonia beds?
- And if they change from the French Mediterranean region, how long will I be able to run my (agent, broker, supplier) business before going bankrupt ?
Far from sanctioning superyacht clientele, these measures accelerate their departure towards countries and other Mediterranean marinas which are already welcoming them with open arms. Departures have already been recorded and announced for 2021 when yachting companies are all already suffering from the situation linked to the pandemic.
A petition has been launched to conduct a proper survey and consultation to measure the true impact of yachting and other factors. You can download and/or sign the Posidonia petition here (in French and English versions): Posidonia Petition
You can also read my post here: Posidonia anchoring regulations
Photo credit: Pinterest
Rebecca Whitlocke, Founder of Antibes Yachting, joined the ‘Head Of Hosting And Marketing In Yachting And Luxury Tourism’ class today (virtually) at Fondazione I.S.Y.L to speak about marketing for luxury and nautical tourism, with a specific focus on destination marketing for marinas and preparing for media relations at yacht shows.
Her presentation focused on 2 key areas and a summary:
1) BRAND/MARINA MARKETING
– Marina Website
2) YACHT SHOWS
– Media Relations / Dealing with Journalists
3) SUMMARY : The ‘I C E’ method
About Fondazione I.S.Y.L (Italian Super Yacht Life)
I.S.Y.L, Italian Super Yacht Life, is the only Istituto Tecnico Superiore (Higher Technical Institute) dedicated to pleasure boating in Italy and is based in Viareggio, Tuscany, the heart of Italian boating.
It was created with the aim of organising highly professional dedicated courses to train future specialists in the nautical and port sectors, in all areas of the supply chain. The I.S.Y.L. Foundation aims to promote the dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge and to support measures for the development of the economy and active labor market policies.
It acts in the technological area of sustainable mobility in the nautical transport and logistics sector, in particular in the sectors of production and maintenance of means of transport and / or related infrastructures and the mobility of people and goods.
I am happy to see that in recent days there is a robot floating in the water at Port Vauban. This small anti-pollution robot is called GOBIE, and is a marine vacuum cleaner for waste and surface hydrocarbons.
Thanks to a pump it creates a slight current in order to attract waste towards a receiving bag. It’s plugged into a shore power outlet, is fully autonomous and can operate 24 hours a day. The aim is to move it around the port to ensure cleanliness of the water, which is desperately needed at Port Vauban.
Cleaning waste from the water in Port Vauban
Port Vauban is a certified harbour for the European ‘Clean Harbours’ programme so it’s good to see they adhere to a certification that has annual monitoring and certification that is reviewed every three years.
Many years ago, I tried to get interest from the port to sponsor and install a Seabin which is now a very well known company in the marine industry. The Seabin catches an estimated 1.5 tons of marine debris per year (depending on weather and debris volumes) including microfibres, fuel, oil and micro plastics down to 2 mm small. The catch bag has the capacity to hold up to 20kgs and can be changed multiple times per day.
Aside from the physical mechanics of having a Seabin unit capable of displacing 25,000 litres of water a day and removing trash from the water, Port Vauban would have had the opportunity to monitor marine trash and get the yachting community thinking about the trash in the water. At that time, it was deemed too expensive by the port and as we know here in France the impact of local and regional decision-making can be time-consuming. Therefore sadly, it’s another challenge relating to the Antibes Yachting community that comes down to individuals or community funding. My perspective: What exactly is the cost they dedicate annually on care and cleanliness of the marina environment?
One of the challenges the port stated was the consideration for who would be responsible for cleaning the bags of collected waste and maintenance of the unit. Taking ownership and responsibility for cleaner waterways is the first step. Each Seabin client has its own waste service provider and management plan; I have never seen any detailed public information relating to the recycling procedure or waste management strategy at Port Vauban – you can find recycling bins all along the IYCA, opposite the Prè des Pêcheurs square near old town and the main recycling bins and signage on the port side by the Société des Régates d’Antibes. Note: This ‘Point Propre’ is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9am to midday; all other times you need to request access from the port office.
Allocating cleaning and maintenance staff of in-water units hasn’t been an issue for other marinas – there are over 850 Seabin units in operation worldwide including other French ports in Golfe Juan, La Ciotat, La Grande Motte and YCPR Port de la Pointe Rouge Marseille.
This post isn’t about whether one machine, device or initiative is better than the other. We can all take responsibility and make positive actions to support the health and quality of our marine environment here in Antibes and the greater Côte d’Azur region. As well as technological devices, we have to approach the problem with science and education so the community and industry is engaged to change.
I look forward to following the updates about the GOBIE unit at Port Vauban. If anyone has any further information on the manufacturer of the GOBIE let me know in the comments below!
Clean Harbours / Ports Propres: https://www.ports-propres.org/en/ports-certifies/06-port-vauban/
Clean Superyacht Marina Campaign: https://www.cleansuperyachtmarina.com